CGN: Savoie

The Savoie (1914) is famous for its elegance and rightly considered to be one of the jewels in the Belle Epoque fleet which have been plying the lake’s deep-blue waters for 100 years. It was entirely renovated in 2006, retaining its original steam engine, but fitted with a new, particularly cost-efficient  boiler. I was fortunate to get a ride on this beautiful boat back to Geneva after my visit to Yvoire, a medieval town on the French side of the lake.

A beautiful old boat full of curves: its wooden ceilings painted white, smooth worn wooden decks, the colour of steel where the varnish has been worn away by the constant passage of thousands of feet. 1st class tickets only are allowed on the upper deck where royal blue deckchairs face the mountain views. Benches here have plump foam cushions to make them more comfortable.

Tables in the restaurant are set with white cloths and linen, silver cutlery and sparkling glasses, anthuriums (flamingo flower) with red spathes is the flower of choice. I presume this is for the evening dinner cruise ‘The Chef’s Table’ and I am almost tempted to stay.

Tall ferns stand guard by the curved banister of the stairway sweeping up to the upper deck

where its glitzy bar is just waiting for the cocktail hour to begin.

What a beauty! A truly wonderful and nostalgic way to end to my day.

~wander.essence~ Photography

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Just Back from… Barcelona

It was going to be New York for my daughter’s 40th birthday getaway, until we saw the prices, and since we were only going for three days it made more sense to make it closer to home so we didn’t spend two of those days in the air. Yes we were going on another mother and daughter city break! Been a long time since the last one which was also to Spain just before my eldest grandson was born. He is now 14 years old. BA came to the rescue with some very decent European city breaks – hotels and flights for £350 each. We opted for Barcelona, a city neither of us had been to before and which has been well recommended by fellow bloggers. Thank you Restless Jo and Lucid Gypsy for all your help, advice and links.

Placa de Catalunya
Placa de Catalunya

Day One

A very early start meant we were arrived at Barcelona airport by 9 am – we stopped for a coffee before boarding the Aerobus into the city, tickets were prepaid for so no problems whatsoever and the buses are every 5 minutes so no waiting like you have to at Heathrow. A smooth drive with a drop-off close to the hotel where we were able to stash our luggage and head out to explore. First thing though was breakfast. We quickly found a lovely bar where we had coffee, orange juice (the Spanish make the BEST orange juice) and buttery croissants. Then we simply wandered for a few hours until it was time to join a free walking tour of the Gothic Quarter. The architecture in Barcelona is so interesting – I spent most of my time gazing upwards at the windows, carved entrances, wrought-iron balconies – Gothic mansions, Catalan Art Nouveau, and the magnificent imaginative Gaudí and taking far too many photographs.

Continue reading Just Back from… Barcelona

Monthly Photo Challenge: September

One thousand, nine hundred and seventy-five miles and I am finally back home in Cornwall. Not spent enough of this month at home to do a challenge post on the Cornish blog, so here is a summary of my September elsewhere in the UK.

Colchester Castle
Colchester Castle

Starting with a wedding in Colchester, Essex and then winding slowly northwards along the eastern side of the country to Edinburgh, where I met up with the delightful restless one – fellow blogger Jo who has now retreated to her home in the Algarve for a rest. Finishing with a relaxing week in the “Country of the Big Trees” – Perthshire and a brief stopover in Shrewsbury to visit the mother-in-law.

The wedding went off fine, a lovely bright and sunny day after a couple of humid and grey ones so the ceremony and the buffet were held outdoors. A beautiful cake made up of dozens of flower-iced cupcakes, unfortunately I prefer my cake to have more cake than icing and this wasn’t the case. Looked incredible though. And neither the bride nor her father managed to trip over on the uneven flooring!

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Weather-wise it was a pretty good month. Began with hot and humid in Essex, a wet day in Norwich, sunshine and clear skies in Lincolnshire, back to hot and humid in Durham followed by a couple of days in the murky fog and damp, before becoming sunny and bright once more in Scotland. Rained pretty much all the way home, but you can’t have it all!

Glamis Castle, Scotland
Glamis Castle, Scotland

I will write about each of the places we visited in turn, once I have sorted through the hundreds of photos and caught up with stuff back home – not least the garden which appears to have gone wild during my absence.

[the header image is of the skyline in Edinburgh – for some reason the skyline caught my eye there more than anything else – all those spires and chimneys]

The Cardinal is continuing his photo project throughout 2016 – a blogging event, a monthly photo challenge. Read his blog for the new rules this year (he is running two versions) and to view his interpretation and those of other participants.

Dear Passport…

We’ve been together for 10 years now and you need to be replaced.  But before I consign you to the bottom of the drawer, let’s take a journey through time and see where you have been…

2003

dublin IRELAND
october
Dublin Canal
Dublin Canal
Paris france
december
reflections of palais royal
reflections of palais royal

2005

toronto to vancouver Canada
August
Via Canada
Via Canada

2006

Malta and Sicily
May
Upper Barakka Gardens
Upper Barakka Gardens Valletta, Malta
lemon ceramics
Ceramics from Sicily

2007

Boston, New England and cape cod USA
October
park
Park in Boston
Bath Covered Bridge
Bath Covered Bridge
provincetown women
“They Also Faced the Sea” – Provincetown Harbour 2003-2005

2008

South Africa and Namibia
April
Beach Huts
Beach Huts, Muizenberg, False Bay
leopard3
Leopard in Namibia
Florida USA
september
miami skyline
Miami skyline
India
December
Mausoleum and Minarets
Mausoleum and Minarets

2009

California usa
February
Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco, USA
Golden Gate bridge, San Francisco, USA
Geneva and Montreux switzerland
september
Place du Bourg-de-Four
Place du Bourg-de-Four
Montreux lakeside
Promenade at Montreux
Prague and Cesky Krumlov Czech Republic
october
P - Prague
Prague – Charles Bridge
Cesky Krumlov castle view
Cesky Krumlov castle view

2010

San Diego usa
february

night 1

Canyons Circle usa
march
Sunset Point - a good viewpoint
Sunset Point – a good viewpoint in Bryce Canyon
Paris france
May

Café Esmeralda

Vancouver canada
September

coal-harbour

Vancouver island canada
October
Tofino - Vancouver Island
Tofino – Vancouver Island

2012

San Francisco usa
february
Mission District Mural
Mission District Mural
Yosemite valley usa
February

 mirror-lake-boulder

Lisbon  portugal
May
Telhados - Rooftops
Telhados – Rooftops
Cascais portugal
May
Lighthouse in Cascais
Lake Bled slovenia
June
Pletna Boat
Pletna Boat
Ljubljana slovenia
June
cafe culture
Ljubljana
venice italy
June
Washing
Washing

The passport was replaced shortly before my trip to Australia / New Zealand at the end of 2014. I doubt that I shall visit as many countries in the next ten years as I have during this phase, but I hope there will be a few, after all there is nothing like visiting another country to get the inspiration flowing for a travel photographer.